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Posted by: Kim_Hamilton on 01/25/2011 11:25 PM Updated by: Kim_Hamilton on 01/25/2011 11:26 PM
Expires: 01/01/2016 12:00 AM
:

The Kid Connection....."Education: What Your Child’s Principal Wants You To Know"~by Stefanie Pechan

You probably walked by that office a thousand times or so during your school career. Ever wonder what went on behind that door? Here’s your chance to find out. So, what goes on behind that famous door? Believe it or not, principals do more than handle the discipline end of things. Here are just a few items on their “to do” list: Site budget/managing all fiscal aspects of the school, staffing, maintenance, data and record keeping, numerous meetings (before, during, and after school hours), classroom visits, curriculum, monitoring of federal and state requirements…..(the list goes on)….but most importantly he/she is a leader for students, staff, and parents alike and should be regarded as a valuable resource. .....


Most parents try to avoid visiting the principal’s office at all costs. The concept of ‘going to the principal’s office’ is usually associated with bad behavior. Guess what, it doesn’t have to be! For example at my school, students try their hardest to get called into the principal’s office. Yes, really! She holds monthly luncheons in which students are free to discuss any concerns, ideas, or just have a good old fashioned conversation. If you were to walk by her office on these days, you will often find a smiling group of children in a picnic style setting having a grand time.

Whether you already have children in school or not, I think the following thoughts might make you feel less likely to run the other way should you cross paths with your school’s principal. These are open and honest comments from various principals from around the state (elementary school through high school).

From the Principal’s Office: (un-edited responses)
*”Establish ‘school routines’ for getting ready for school in the morning, doing homework, debriefing about the school day, after school, and bedtime.”

*”Make perfect attendance a family goal. “

*”Go meet your child’s teacher at the beginning of the year—don’t wait for the conference.”

*”Parents: You have the most important job in the world. You are your child’s first teacher and the school cannot provide for your child what a parent does. We often hear about quality time with children but quantity counts too. Your child needs time with you. Time for you to teach them all the things they need to know and the many days to come.”

*”Establish a study hour each day (homework time, silent reading, studying math facts, etc.”

* “Parents are a child’s first and most important teacher! Teaching children the alphabet, counting, and a love of books are a great start. Social development is just as important. The children who come to school with the ability to follow directions, take turns, listen respectfully, and solve problems with words instead of fists are better able to learn happily at school. Students need boundaries to feel safe.”

*”I implore parents to take a more active role in how their students communicate with others through the internet. In the traditional sense, bullies used physical force to intimidate others in a public forum. Nowadays, and most often, the cyber bully can harass others anonymously regardless of their physical size or popularity.”

*” What I want parents to do, is work with the school to not only teach their students how to treat others in a public forum, but over the internet as well. Parents need to be aware of the social networks their children subscribe to and monitor their behavior and interaction with others on them. In an effort to prevent cyber bullying, I would suggest that parents add themselves to their child’s buddy list, monitor their child’s personal information listed on their face page, and teach their child proper netiquette in how they interact with others online. Finally, if their child is being harassed online, I would encourage students and parents to tell school officials or law enforcement. Not only is cyber bullying wrong, it could be illegal.”

*”We are NOT the enemy!”

*"Your child's Principal wants you to know that we serve our school students as if they were our own and truly do not want to work against you. It is important to always communicate clearly and honestly with your child's teacher, school, and administration. Having an open relationship creates the idea of a village raising a child. We need your support. Schools have rules and regulations we must follow we as parents may not always understand or agree but must work alongside the school in order to be role models for our children. We truly chose this profession because we care about children and wanted to be able to have a larger influence over looking out for their best interest.. it is true.. in locus parentis.!!!"

*”That children will all grow up and are quite adaptable to situations (sometimes better than most parents)…they want to learn and do well. Usually, they get up in the morning, look in the mirror and say ‘I will try to do and be good today’. Our job is to help them achieve that goal.”

Sounds like a pretty supportive group? You bet. Throughout your child’s school career many will help cheer them on to the finish line (graduation). Alongside you, cheering just as loudly, will be their school principal.



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